How Cinderella Entered My Life (And refused to leave me alone!)



Welcome to A Week of Cinderella!  I'm so excited to kick things off!!

I hope you're as excited about this week's celebrations as I am!


I grew up with fairy tales.  Who hasn't?  Disney was a childhood staple, as was a battered book of child-friendly retellings.  As with most children, I outgrew most of my whimsical fairy tale daydreams by mid-middle school (Since how can you outgrow Disney when they're creating gems such as THE LION KING and ALADDIN for you to love?).  Fairy tales became a cherished memory, but nothing more.

Until the day everything changed.

I belonged to some by-mail book club.  I ordered a book called ELLA ENCHANTED by Gail Carson Levine.  This book was my first introduction to what I lovingly call "fractured fairy tales."  Who knew that there could be more than one version of the story I grew up with?  I certainly didn't!  I was swept away in the knowledge that Ella was about my age and knew the prince BEFOREHAND.  Wow, what a shocker!  I also loved the way she came into her own destiny and didn't rely on the prince for help.  Heck, she got HIM out of some tough situations!  I adored the book on so many levels.  It made a HUGE impression on me and changed the way I  looked at fairy tales.  In fact, ELLA ENCHANTED remains the only book on my All-Time Top Five Books List that's a MG/YA novel (Granted, most of that is probably nostalgia, alas...!).
And then...THEN!!  The movie EVER AFTER with Drew Barrymore came out.  It was in all the teen magazines I read. There were even these awesome movie postcard tearouts (example, left) that you could collect if you got each of the ten magazines with a unique card.  I went nuts!  EVER AFTER was the first movie I ever saw twice in the theater, and the first I saw opening day.  It was the first time I got to experience a showing full of people seeing a movie for the first time together and laughing and cheering when Cinderella slugs her stepsister, etc.  It was magical, and I had to see it again!  I preordered it on VHS (Yessss, VHS) from Blockbuster or some-such because they were giving out a giftcard with an image of Drew Barrymore in her beautiful gown.  I coveted that giftcard (I still use giftcards for bookmarks, too!).  I watched the VHS tape so many times that I literally wore it out.  It was one of the first movies I purchased on DVD when I went to college and had a DVD player in my computer.  It was my favorite movie for years until MOULIN ROUGE came around and knocked it down to Number Two (Where it still remains).  I even have the movie novelization somewhere around here!  This movie enveloped me completely, from the magic and enchantment to the costumes and makeup to the breathless romance and the relationship that built between Cinderella and her Prince over the course of a couple of hours.  This movie is perfection.

These two brushes with Cinderella changed me completely.  After being introduced to them, I found myself discovering more fractured fairytales, from Donna Jo Napoli's ZEL to Gregory Maguire's WICKED.  Now, I have a couple of shelves in my bookcase dedicated solely to fairy tales.  Heck, I'm even writing a fairy tale right now!  Without ELLA ENCHANTED and EVER AFTER, without discovering these vastly altered forms of Cinderella during the time I was most impressionable to new ideas, I don't know where--or who--I'd be today!

How has the story of Cinderella impacted your life?

Comments

  1. Ever After! <3 it soooo much. I adore this movie. And don't forget Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella musical.

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  2. @Flashlight: Oh, definitely! I have a few versions on DVD! I first fell for the Whitney/Brandy version, and again when the Julie Andrews version finally came to DVD a few years ago.

    I was going to mark these in this post, but they really didn't fit in! :)

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  3. I love Ever After, easily one of my favorite movies. Cinderella is one of my favorite Disney movies. On the 22 of December I went to the musical it was so wonderful.
    I need to get a dvd copy of the Whitney/Brady version.

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  4. @Kristina: Oh, I would love to see the musical live! *swoon* I'm hoping Cinderella comes to blu-ray soon. I was actually talking about that at breakfast this morning!! The Whitney/Brandy version is on DVD. So is the Julie Andrews now if you don't have that one!

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  6. Cinderella has always been my favorite fairytale. I grew up on the Disney "Cinderella" and in fact still watch it to this day. I LOVE Ever After! Ella Enchanted is one of my favorite books too! It was the first book I ever REread, in fact. And it's the book I recommend to all the girls at the elementary school I volunteer at, to read, if they are looking for Newbury Honor book (they get 50 extra pages for read a Newbury) .

    One of my all time favorite movies is "A Cinderella Story" with Hilary Duff. I was obsessed with that movie when it came out haha.

    Love that your hosting this week. If I would have known sooner I absolutely would have loved to join in for this week A Week of Cinderella :). Hopefully you'll do it again sometime! :)

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  7. @Romance Bookie: I just sent you a message on Twitter! It's not too late at all if you want to participate :)

    I love that you always recommend ELLA...I worked in the Children's Dept. at my local bookstore for about two years and it was always a favorite recommendation of mine!

    I actually just saw A CINDERELLA STORY for the first time earlier this year when it was on demand!! I never saw it before that!

    I don't know if I'll do a Cinderella week again, but I'll definitely honor other fairy tales in the future! :)

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  8. I think I'm going to learn a lot of Cinderella retellings this week! That was a very in depth look at Ever After. I remember that movie. I liked it, but not like you. I loved Ella Enchanted. I've never read Wicked, but I thought it was Snow White. So, I'll have to look into that one.

    Excited for the Cinderella week!
    Heather

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    1. I hope you found a few new retellings to love this week. You'll have to tell me which ones you choose! :)

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  9. I would really like to join, but I'm not reading anything Cinderella related right now. If you ever do any other fairytales in the future and I find out about it, I will definitely try to participate :).


    Is it possible to just do like one post this week, describing how Cinderella came into my life? I won't be able to read a cinderella-ey book this week, but I would love to just do a post in honor of this event? :)

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  10. I LOVE Ever After! (hehe, I had a VHS copy too). Every time I watch it I cry happy tears of joy at the end when he brings her the shoe. Every. Single. Time. Gosh, even thinking about it is getting me a little misty eyed :P That movie is perfection.

    Now I'm going to say this very quickly and then run away and hide: Istillhaven'treadellaenchanted *runs*

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    1. Perfection is truly the right world. It could have been so cheesy...but it was so perfect.

      No worries over ELLA! I haven't read it in a long time myself. I'm afraid to. What if I hate it now???

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  11. I haven't read Ella Enchanted either! I suck. =)

    I always wanted to dress up like Drew's character for Halloween. I loved the face makeup. Best angel costume EVER. Imagine me showing that movie (because I always taught compare/contrast with versions of Cinderella) to a group of urban middle school girls. Always enjoyable to see their reactions. (They love it, of course.) We would watch R&H's Cinderella too. They never shared my love of musicals, but they tolerated them. Culture is so difficult to share. lol

    They did, however, like West Side Story. Strange girls... I did a Romeo and Juliet unit too. =) Always marching to my own drum...

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    1. Me toooooo, I want to be her. She's gorgeous!!!!

      Ohh, I love the R&H version! I couldn't work it in!! I have both the Julie Andrews and the Brandi/Whitney Houston version on DVD!

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  12. I LOVE Ella Enchanted! It was my favourite book back around Grade 7 or 8. I think the last time I read it I still really enjoyed it, but I have to wonder what I'd think if I re-read it now critically. I'm kind of scared to do that, LOL! Also, yay for Ever After! I own that movie and have watched it repeatedly...such a great feel-good film :)

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    1. I know! I'm so afraid to read ELLA again now. I love it so much and...what if I HATE it!?

      I need to watch EVER AFTER again, like, this week!!

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